I well remember being taken to see
the tank arrive. I stood with my father outside Mr Fred Corby's house, "The Beeches", along with
an animatedly expectant crowd.
We were soon to see this somewhat clumsy object come rocking down
the road, driven, I believe, by Mr C Woods.
I seem to remember that the late
Mr C Clark (Captain) was directing operations, but I may be wrong. It was a Sunday afternoon."
For the civilian population it would have been their first sight of a tank. It lurched round the corner into Washbrook Road and was finally placed on a concrete base just inside Spencer Park, by the brook, where we could have a much close inspection.
We children used to climb on top
of it and slide down the wheels, somewhat bumpily and, I think
I believe the War Office presentedR M Jenkinson (Mrs)
it to the town in appreciation of
their efforts in the War Savings campaign. It was quite a great day when The Tank came.
Crowds of people lined the route to watch the tank being driven from Rushden Station to the concrete slab in Spencer Park.
Railway sleepers were stacked across the road at the bottom of Station Approach and also at the junction of Washbrook Road.
The tank was driven by Rushden soldier, Mr Cyril Woods, second from left in the photograph.
Cheers from the crowd went up when the tank came down Station Approach and rumbled over the pile of wood.
I and others ran down to Washbrook to see it negotiate the next obstacle and finally to Spencer Park where the crowd gathered for the ceremony, hence the pictures.
The photograph was taken by a local photographer, Mr C F Chapman.
At the beginning of the last war
the tank was sent to Hitler in smaller consignments quicker
than it came.
J W (Bill) Houghton
|I would imagine that quite a number of the older people of Rushden will well remember the tank pictured in Mr Peter Knight's excellent photograph.
Indeed, it was a very well-known Rushden landmark right up until it was "taken for scrap metal" in the early days of World War Two around 1940.
The tank stood in the Spencer Park close to the small bridge over the brook in Washbrook Road. The platform that it stood on is still there and visible, I believe, and can be seen still beside the bridge. It was very popular indeed with all the children, and I remember that its tank tracks were all polished like silver by the seats of the boys' pants, and the dresses of the girls who used to climb, sit and slide all over it.
I recall playing upon the tank endless times, and also going inside it a number of times. My grandfather and great-uncles were friends of the park-keeper who had a key to unlock the flap in the tank and let us in, but never without an adult being present and in charge.
It was quite dark in the tank, I remember, and it had a metal, oily smell all its own. Anyone who went into the tank will well remember it, I guess, even today.
It's not widely known today that the tanks of World War One could be male or female. The female carried machine-guns in her side mounts (turrets), and the male a much large calibre gun of the cannon or field-gun type.
My father went to see the tank just after World War One when it arrived in Rushden. It came to Rushden station by train and then ran under its own power to its parking spot platform in Spencer Park.
There's a photograph of the tank taken at this time passing under the old railway bridge (now gone) in the book entitled Old Rushden.
W E Upton
Masquerade : The picture includes my late uncle, Hector Macleod. He is wearing a homburg hat, and is fourth from the left.
Although in civilian clothes, he was
in fact a Captain in the Royal Tank Corps, having served with them
when the tank was a secret weapon, and they masqueraded, I believe, as the Gas Corps.
He took part in the first tank actionIan Macleod
at Cambrai, but was seriously wounded at Geuzeaucourt and is mentioned in the history of the regiment; "Rolling Through", as "Young Mac".
The picture no doubt brought a smile to many of your readers.
Presented to the townspeople
In 1940 it was broken up for metal salvage to help the
for their response to the War
Savings Appeal, it stood for many years in Spencer Park
where countless youngsters in the 1920s and 30s spent many happy hours playing on and around it.
Second World War effort.
|That Tank : My cousin, Mrs Jill Waterfield sent me a cutting from a recent edition of your paper concerning the tank which was presented to Rushden Urban District Council. I am writing to inform you that the dashing young man in the baggy British Warm [coat] was my father, the late Captain Hector Macleod of the Royal Tank Corps (as it was then) who had actually delivered the tank. He was the younger son of the late Superintendent and Mrs H. D. Macleod of Portsoy, The Avenue, Wellingborough and brother of the late Mr Kenneth Macleod, Mrs E. Richardson, Miss Elizabeth Macleod and Mrs M Cox.
My late mother was the former Miss Nellie Tailby of Rushden and the only member of the family still living is my mother's youngest sister Mrs Muriel Ellson who lives in Great Addington.
I have this photograph in my possession and can clearly remember my father telling me how he used to deliver tanks to various places after the war.
Patricia Barnett (Mrs)